Bangladesh court jails Khaleda Zia for five years on graft charges

Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been jailed for five years after she was found guilty in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

Her eldest son and BNP’s Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others have been given 10 years in the case and a fine in the politically significant case ahead of parliamentary elections, The Daily Star reported.

Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 in Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to rigorous imprisonment and said the shorter term was for “her health and social status”.

The judge read a short summary of the of the 632-page verdict in presence of Khaleda Zia, who was wearing a cream-coloured saree and wearing a scarf, sitting on a furnished chair across a tea table bearing a tissue box and a quarter litre of bottled water.

Throughout the way to court, she was escorted by a large number of law enforcers and party activists at the front.

On March 21 in 2014, a Dhaka court framed charges against the six accused.

According to the complainant, a grant of $1,255,000 was transferred from the United Saudi Commercial Bank to the Prime Minister’s Orphanage Fund. The fund was created by the then premier Khaleda shortly before the transfer was made on June 9, 1991.

The complainant alleged that the fund was created as part of the embezzlement scheme, and only Khaleda administered the fund.